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Johnson, MacCachren & Currie win the Friday Traxxas TORC Series main events at Charlotte

The first-ever Traxxas TORC Series, presented by AMSOIL, held in the heart of NASCAR country – Charlotte, N.C. – went off big on the Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway with two of the TORC PRO events coming down to the last few turns of the race, while the premier event was all Ricky Johnson (Red Bull/KMC Wheels/Mopar/Ram) – the driving force at bringing the TORC Series to Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Reiterated USAC/TORC President Kevin Miller on the Traxxas TORC Series’ historic move to Charlotte Motor Speedway: “In addition to its impressive yearly lineup of events including NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600, World of Outlaws battles, NHRA drag races and Late Model contests, Charlotte Motor Speedway’s TORC event positions short course off-road racing – the same racing as seen on TV in TORC’s Discovery HD program – right in the heart of motorsports central on the east coast.”

Traxxas TORC Series returns to action tomorrow (Saturday) night on the Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway beginning at 7 p.m.

PRO 4

Johnson pretty much set the tone early on in qualifying that nobody was going to touch him in his adopted home state of Charlotte. The former multi-time AMA MX/SX champ ran the day’s only sub 42-second lap in qualifying, then parlayed that effort into the pole, holeshot, a second holeshot after the competition yellow, Oakley Bomb award (a blistering 40.19 second lap) for the fastest lap and – ultimately – the checkers.

“Man, we were killing it on our BFGs,” said Johnson. “We got every holeshot and went wherever I wanted to go. This was our first win and I hope it’s our first of many.”

Pushed early by Adrian Cenni (Maxxis/Atrium Payroll/MasterCraft Safety), the bright orange No. 11 truck would succumb to mechanical issues and bowed out just three laps into the race. Charging hard into 2nd place in the first half of the PRO 4 main was Johnny Greaves (Monster Energy/Toyota/Maxxis), looking to set up a Monster vs. Red Bull second half battle. But Greaves’ bruising battle with longtime rival Scott Douglas (AMSOIL/BFG/MasterCraft Safety) would take a toll on the Wisconsin native and he as well suffered mechanical issues.

With Greaves down, Mark Jenkins (Traxxas/BFG/AMSOIL) would pursue Douglas with great fury and vengeance, forging what would be the best battle of the evening in the PRO 4 class. Torn up with bodywork hanging off like crippled WWII fighter plane, Jenkins gave it all he had, but would ultimately be slowed by a flat front tire in his pursuit of Douglas. Johnson rallied on strong to take victory, crossing the finish line to a chorus of applause that was soon lost below the din of a massive fireworks display with the Motor Speedway as the backdrop. Douglas would take 2nd and Jenkins 3rd.

Place No. Name Laps Adjust Last Time Fast Time Fast Lap
1 48 RICKY JOHNSON 22 0 45.098 40.19 13
2 7 SCOTT DOUGLAS 22 0 44.972 42.439 14
3 25 MARK JENKINS 22 0 45.468 42.427 15
4 22 JOHHNY GREAVES 21 0 52.576 42.426 6
5 83 STEVE BARLOW 18 0 01:37.5 43.117 2
6 47 MIKE JENKINS 9 0 44.041 43.614 3
7 11 ADRIAN CENNI 8 0 01:06.4 42.372 7

 

PRO 2

 

For the first half of the Traxxas TORC PRO 2 main at Charlotte NOBODY was touching Bryce Menzies (Red Bull/KMC Wheels/Mopar/Ram). The 2011 SCORE Baja 500 winner and TORC/Crandon track lap record setter is having a rip roarin’ summer of racing. Menzies pulled the holeshot from the outside position of the front row – ahead of his mentor, Rob MacCachren (Traxxas/Mopar/AMSOIL/BFG). Menzies would open up on MacCachren and the rest of the TORC PRO 2 field to the tune of a second-a-lap, leading MacCachren by more than ten seconds heading into the competition yellow.

And while the battle up front was joined by Scott Taylor (Miller Electric Welders), the first half of Friday’s PRO 2 main was highlighted by the battle between Chad Hord (BOSS Snowplows/AMSOIL/Nissan) and Greg Adler (4 Wheel Parts/Pro Comp) and their battle for 4th place. But it would be Menzies that had the hammer down.

“Bryce got the holeshot and checked out. We didn’t have it for him,” said MacCachren.

Following the competition yellow at lap 11, Menzies again got out front, but MacCachren would keep him better in check. This would be key as the laps wound down and the two would separate from Taylor and the rest of the pack. By lap 19 MacCachren was all over Menzies. But to the younger racer’s credit, Menzies had an answer for every one of the veteran’s attempts to get by. And as Taylor held on strong to 3rd,  several other racers exited the field – including Hord who lost a wheel.

Having shown Menzies his front bumper on the previous two turns, MacCachren pulled an outside/inside move going into the final turn and caught Menzies door-to-door in the corner. Menzies stalled, was unable to start and MacCachren cruised to victory – winning the Oakley Bomb award for the fastest PRO 2 lap in his hot pursuit of Menzies.

“Ultimately I got by because Bryce broke,” admitted MacCachren. “But we had to go as hard as we absolutely could to stay with him.”

With only four trucks running on the final lap, Taylor earned a well-deserved 2nd and veteran Jeff Kincaid (Traxxas/Ford/BFG) won the battle of attrition for the third and final podium spot.

Place No. Name Laps Adjust Last Time Fast Time Fast Lap
1 21 ROB MACCACHREN 22 0 45.06 44.006 19
2 8 SCOTT TAYLOR 22 0 45.152 44.395 16
3 4 JEFF KINCAID 22 0 45.948 44.662 15
4 80 MIKE OBERG 22 0 46.938 45.895 13
5 7 BRYCE MENZIES 20 0 44.383 44.172 18
6 9 CHAD HORD 14 0 44.759 44.727 8
7 77 MIKEY VANDEN HEUVEL 13 0 50.749 45.051 7
8 10 GREG ADLER 11 0 45.557 44.847 9
9 30 ROBBY PIERCE 7 0 47.839 46.497 4
10 15 MARTY HART 6 0 46.456 45.698 4

 

 

PRO Light

 

Defending 2010 TORC PRO Light champion Casey Currie (Monster Energy/General Tire/Nissan) stepped up and won his first event of the 2011 season, holding off a fast and furious charge from current PRO Light series points leader Samuel Hubinette (Traxxas/Mopar/AMSOIL/BFG) the checkers in the 20-lap main event – the first-ever pro off-road race on the Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“This place is awesome,” exclaimed the California native Currie. “So stoked to be in Charlotte. We’re back to where we need to be – and that’s on top.”

Added Hubinette: “Fantastic fun! Casey did a great job and, for me, 2nd place was better than flipping over.”

After locking down the fastest qualifying time earlier in the day RJ Anderson (Walker Evans/Polaris/South Point) pulled the holeshot from the pole position, but was soon caught and passed by Currie on the second turn. Hubinette tapped into his drifting skills and cut into Currie’s 2.5 second lead by lap five. Things started to come apart around lap nine when CJ Greaves (Traxxas/Monster Energy/Maxxis) lost a wheel and Shawn Morris (Maxxis/AMSOIL/Performance Auto) high sided on the banked World of Outlaws turn one – bringing the competition yellow out early.

Regrouped, the field – including Morris – bunched up for the second half start and it would be the same cast of characters up front, along with a hard-charging Andrew Caddell (Traxxas/Mopar/AMSOIL/BFG) who would win the Traxxas Maxx lap award for the fastest Pro Light lap at Charlotte (without power steering after the fourth lap). And while Caddell and Anderson battled for the third and final podium spot, Currie did an excellent job holding off Hubinette for the win.

Place No. Name Laps Adjust Last Time Fast Time Fast Lap
1 1 CASEY CURRIE 20 0 48.392 47.486 15
2 77 SAM HUBINETTE 20 0 47.9 47.467 15
3 43 ANDREW CADDELL 20 0 50.241 47.017 14
4 37 RJ ANDERSON 20 0 48.11 43.543 19
5 5 TODD CUNNINGHAM 20 0 51.25 49.053 13
6 4 JASON JANUSZ 20 0 50.58 49.041 17
7 76 ANDY ZIPPERER 20 0 54.748 50.507 14
8 11 RANDY ELLER 20 0 51.868 50.385 18
9 8 MIKE PORTER 20 0 50.947 50.947 20
10 17 MITCH DORR 19 0 50.538 49.478 12
11 27 SHAUN MORRIS 10 0 05:19.3 49.212 9
12 33 CJ GREAVES 9 0 48.754 48.754 9
13 14 LUKE JOHNSON 8 0 49.833 49.833 8
14 44 BRAD LOVELL 4 0 54.096 48.621 2

 

Words by Pat Schutte

Photos by Mike Roth

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    Mary Kay
  • July 23, 2011
Love the shot of Rob Mac, Scotty T. and Jeff Kincaid, they look excited. Nice photos and thanks!
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    Tom Williams
  • July 30, 2011
We went both nights and it was awesome! Who ever promoted the race stunk it up. I heard 2 drivetime ads on the top radio stations. They did not even hang a banner on the track wall facing traffic like they do for other races. All that aside, word of mouth and forum chatter doubled the crowd Saturday night. Greaves and Johnson provided some serious fireworks on the final 2 laps. All of the classes/races were excellant! Kids were hauling autographed hoods and fenders out of the pits and there wasnt a unhappy fan in the place! Good band playing the pit party too! Rob Mac came up in the stands and sit with us for a while, great guy!
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